13 Client Supply Items – Switches and Sockets
The amount and location of sockets and switches need to be decided on before the works start. Although your Architect will make suggestions to their planning, it is important to carefully think about the future use of a room and to communicate any likes and dis-likes. It is not necessary to overload a space with sockets for potential future uses, however in most cases they do look better than having many extension cables laid out later on.
There are new products coming to the market, as technology evolves. One of them is sockets with built in USB ports for charging phones and devices. It may be a good practice to have some installed in rooms you tend use the standard socket plug-in cables for charging, such as for example an office or a bedroom.
Aesthetically, sockets and switches can be made a bit stylish and exciting with finishes ranging from plain plastic through to various metal finishes with matt or polished fronts, and white metal fronts. For those preferring a more subtle look, or particularly when having a nice wallpaper used in a room, you can opt for see-through fronts. They can also be back-painted to match the colour of your walls.
The style of fronts also vary. They can be flat and recessed or have a chamfered edge. The surface can be with or without visible screws.
If you like metal socket and switch plates, it is good to stick to one metal finish per room. If you installed dimmable lights, please remember to buy dimmer switches as well. Having said that, if a socket is going to be hidden behind an appliance or a TV, there is of course no need to use a more expensive socket, the plainest one in white plastic should be just fine.
Speaking of these – there is a clever way to both save money and make a room look quite sophisticated. You can try pairing darker painted walls with white painted skirtings and architraves and then using white sockets and switches for added contrast.
Here is one more tip for brining a room design up one level. Did you know there are two wiring options to turn on any bedside table lamps or standing lamps? You can either plug them into a socket, and use the build in switch, or you can ask your electrician to connect them via a 5A (five-amp), the power to which is turned on and off via the main light switch. I would then suggest to have a two way switch and locate one of these on both sides of your bed, combined with access to your main room lights, so you can turn them off without going out of bed!